Though under 40% of the American public has a positive view of socialism, it might not be as pro-capitalism as many hope and think.
Specifically, the “capitalism under fire” portion of the report found that 56% of those polled think that “Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world.”
And, though that’s a world average, the American result is little better; according to a later page in the report, about 47% of Americans agree with the above statement.
Further, the result is pushed by any one demographic, at least based on what breakdown the report provides. The result among women and men was within one percentage point, the 35-54 age group actually agreed with the statement at a higher rate than young people, and the result was not markedly different across the income quartiles.
So, there is a general trend against capitalism, with a relatively large portion of the public thinking capitalism does more harm than good.
What’s not clear, however, is why.
On one hand, the anti-capitalist position could stem from leftist talking points, such as concerns about the climate and pollution.
On the other hand, however, the growing consensus against capitalism could stem from a much more populist, bipartisan position.
Americans, furious about the deleterious effects of globalized capitalism on the heartland, devastated by “capitalist” pill pushers getting them hooked on opioids, mindful of the slave labor used by companies like Nike, and incensed that the top 1% now holds far more wealth than the middle class, could be turning against capitalism because it appears to be turning against them.
In other words, why would the non-oligarch portion of the population be expected to support a system that seems designed to impoverish them and enrich elites?
While the answer is that that’s corporatism, not actual capitalism, such arguments would likely prove unconvincing to the family impoverished by a private equity-bought factory moving to Mexico or Xinjiang so that the owners can increase their profits per product by a nickle.
Further, the critique of capitalism could even be coming from the right; infuriated by the anti-white drivel pushed by companies like Coca-Cola, even right-leaning Americans that don’t fit the “lolbertarian” Cato Insitute/AEI mold could be turning against capitalism.
Unfortunately, the report does not detail what reasons in particular lie behind the public’s growing rejection of capitalism.
However, the fact that there are so many reasons that Americans across the political spectrum could be turning against capitalism indicates that there are deep problems with the system.
If capitalism is to survive and make us as prosperous in this century as it did in the last, those concerns will likely have to be recognized and dealt with.
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